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Wednesday, 11 June 2014

How to Plan the Perfect Summer Picnic!

I love summer picnics. I love getting together with friends and family and enjoying yummy food and each others company.  I love not having to clean my house before or after the picnic is over.

This past weekend we had our first summer picnic. I can now check that one off our Summer Bucket List.

Here are some of the things I kept in mind in planning our Perfect Summer Picnic.

tips to plan the perfect summer picnic

Who to invite...

We decided to keep it small and invite a couple of other families with children same age as Anthony. Both of our girls were busy that day, so it was fun to only have Anthony running around with his buddies, while the adults chatted. If our girls were joining us that day, we would be sure to include guests their age so they had someone to hang out with too.

Sometimes it's fun to not invite anyone, and just enjoy your own family.



Location!

Pick a location ahead of time. Even if you pick a park, like we did, that gets busy during the weekends, at least have a general idea of where you will have the picnic. Tell your guests what time to meet and have a back-up plan, should the area that you picked already be taken. We were lucky, there was no one nearby when we arrived.

Pick a place that is easy to find.  Telling people to look for the picnic table by the large Oak tree by the main road, is probably not gonna help much.   My instructions were to meet at the picnic area below the  soccer fields closest to the fire station. Everyone knew exactly where I was talking about.

Make sure there are amenities near by if you are bringing little ones, that will need to quickly get to the bathroom. Ask me how I know?

Be aware of your guests special needs, such as wheelchair accessibility or elderly who need help walking.

Will there be a picnic table or do you need to bring tablecloth/blankets to sit on?




What to Bring

Choose a menu! just like any other party/gathering, food is involved. Will you make all of it or will it be potluck? I wanted to keep ours simple, so it was make your own sandwich theme. I brought the sandwich fixings and asked others to bring the sides, desserts, and drinks. Be specific about what you need others to bring so that you don't end up with 5 Potatoe Salads.
Think of every aspect of the meal, from utensils, serving dishes, food items, desserts, drinks, snacks. Be aware of allergies as well (such as peanut allergies).



(Note: Make sure to pack enough icepacks to keep items cold, especially mayo and egg based foods, meats and cheeses. I read somewhere that if you put cardboard around perimeter of your cooler it will keep items colder longer.)

tips to plan the perfect summer picnic

I labelled my luncheon meat tray, so that I didn't get asked what was what. I used toothpicks and washi tape from dollar store, and made a little flag pick for each. Simple things make a difference.

Other things to bring...

Along with Food and drinks here are some extra things to keep in mind to bring
- table cloths, a good knife
- blankets - for kids and adults to lay on and lounge around on
- bug spray, and sun tan lotion
- garbage bags to clean up
- hand cleaner, paper towels/towels
- Containers to bring extra food home in
- Toys to keep kids busy if there are no swings  - soccer balls, baseballs and mitts,  bug catchers, kites (ours broke in less than 5 minutes), bubble blowers, frisbees etc.
- Sun umbrellas and pop up tents if there is little shade

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We ended up having a great time and definitely will be doing this again this summer. A bunch of times

Do you like to have summer Picnics? Will you be picnicking this summer? What do you bring to your picnics?


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